The origins and transformation of the nonjuror schism, 1670-1715 : illustrated by special reference to the career, writings and activities of Dr. George Hickes, 1642-1715

Yould, Guy Martin

Philosophy; Religion; History
October 1979

Thesis or dissertation

© 1979 Guy Martin Yould. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

This thesis intends to show how some of the Laudian high church and high Tory clergy of the Restorian era  were impelled to reject the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and its consequences for the church because of their  close association with the anti-Exclusion policies of the crown in the later years of Charles II. Passive  obedience, non-resistance and hereditary divine right were political theories based on scripture, the early  church, the sufferings of the early martyrs and of Christ himself. The clergy, as a special class of educated  professionals, could advance themselves significantly in their calling by preaching and writing in favour of the  currently favourable political ideology of the later Stuarts. Fortified by the glorious deaths of King Charles the  Martyr and Archbishop Laud, passive obedience and nonresistance were regarded as vital moral precepts of   the Christian faith. The sufferings of the Church of England and its faithful confessors during the Great   Rebellion had made anglicanism a martyr faith, passionately held. In this golden age of anglican patristic  scholarship, the works of Ignatius of Antioch and Cyprian re-emphasized the conviction that episcopacy was of divine right and an essential part of Christ's church. Political opposition or religious nonconformity were alike  considered as sinful and perverse.For the Church of England the double blows of James II's ungrateful treachery and the Revolution itself were  shattering shocks. The minority of bishops and clergy who refused the new oaths and accepted deprivation  regarded their removal as being as invalid as the deposition of James II. The consecration of Tillotson and the  other Revolution 'intruders' caused the nonjuror bishops to go beyond the intended precedents of the  Interregnum and to consecrate new bishops in secret. A great controversy was begun by the ousted nonjurors  using high sacramental theology, eucharistic doctrine, the apostolic succession of bishops and priests, and the  essential independence of the church from the state. The whole relationship of church and state since  Henry VIII and Elizabeth was thus radically called in question, and the nonjurors developed a powerful attack on  the complying 'Revolution church' more revolutionary than the Revolution itself.The career of George Hickes ideally illustrates the rise of a late restoration divine who strongly supported  Charles II. He achieved eminence just before James II attacked the Anglican church's monopoly, defended the  church strongly against the king's aggression and took an uncompromising stand against the Revolution settlement in church and state. A clandestine bishop and rigid high churchman of a logically hard, ruthless and  consistent mind, Hickes outstandingly represented the nonjurors' position in ecclesiastical matters as well as  Jacobitism. He finally opposed Henry Dodwell's return to the established church in 1710 and established his  own leadership of the diehard rump of nonjurors and secured further episcopal consecrations to ensure the continuance of the nonjuror schism.

Department of History, The University of Hull
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